“DONA” is a cycle of performances inspired by my own story of immigration. The piece reflects on the common fears and internal conflicts of the individual. The title “DONA” is the first word of the phrase “Dona Nobis Pacem” from the Agnus Dei part of a mass. The popular canon is used as the only spoken/sang material meaning “give (grant) us peace” in Latin.
Every day of the week, a short site specific performance was done outdoors and then compiled into a video that was shown simultaneously with the last performance action on Friday, inside the Leidse Schouburg Theatre. In this performative cycle, I tried to deal with the things that scare me the most. I looked at performance as an opportunity to cross borders, in a way that I wouldn’t attempt in my daily life. A silent action taken out of its usual context, handling a body as a pure form without content, a presence of a nude lonely figure in an open outdoor area, a public space used as a private room, the proximity of spectator during a painful action—these are the kinds of images that not only highlight the vulnerability and fragility of a person, but also present a challenge for both for performer and audience. These images call for a need to be acted upon in one way or another. I’m interested in this kind of participatory, emotional response as a sort of awakening in art and daily life—the vital transpersonal and transcultural redefinition of ‘what makes us human.’